It’s 1992 and I’m 30 years old. Bye bye youth. Hello, old age. That’s sort of how I felt. Also, that I had to smarten up and start being mature because, well, 30 is 30.
What a joke. I still had so much to learn.
At the beginning of the Ph.D. program in Ottawa, I’m wondering how to focus my thesis. I remember buying a huge thesaurus that, for the time, was really quite good. I felt armed and ready to go. Well, almost.
Romantically, the summer of ’92 saw me at the climax of a platonic but powerful long-distance relationship. Something like the Tristan and Isolde romance that Joseph Campbell talks about. Courtly, archetypally inspired love nurtured through old-fashioned, snail mail letters. We were engaged to be wed for a short while but, just before my studies began, it all ended with the stroke of a pen.
Before it was over, I was happy. Admittedly, I wondered how it could work with her being in another country.
But when you’re in love, especially that kind of romantic archetypal love, practicalities come second. You just love to dream about your beloved as thoughts reach across the sky like rainbows and your souls feel almost cosmically connected.
So I was thinking it’s sort of ironic that my favorite tune for 1991 was “One” and for 1992 “The One.” The first is about agape or brotherly and sisterly love, the second is about eros or romantic love. I believe both types of love could be aligned and are not mutually exclusive. And some advanced mystical saints actually combine them in their devotion to the deity.
For me, this is one of Elton’s last good tunes before “The Circle of Life” (2004) and “The Captain and the Kid” (2006). So I dedicate it to a lost love that wasn’t meant to be but which brings sublime memories of my first entirely spiritual romance sans borders.
And all I ever needed was the one
Like freedom fields where wild horses run
When stars collide like you and I
No shadows block the sun
You’re all I’ve ever needed
Baby you’re the one
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